Matt Belz has always had an affinity for the arts. From an early age, he completely embraced the creative process. “For as long as I can remember, I was either playing music, drawing, writing stories, acting out scenes for family, or really just anything that allowed me to create.” Belz, like many other young dreamers, saw himself with a career in the arts, whether it was music, acting, or some other avenue. So, after his life-long best friend, Tim Hughes, moved to Los Angeles, it wasn’t long before he followed suit.
While in LA, Belz landed a job with the up-and-coming denim line Rock & Republic. “I really just fell into the job. I started out as the personal assistant to the owner/designer Michael Ball, and didn’t think it would turn into much. I seized every opportunity that came along, and eventually was allowed to help design some pieces for the line. I learned about the design process, pattern making, sourcing fabrics, I became the head cutter, and was heavily involved in the garment construction process.” Both Hughes and Belz attribute this experience to helping shorten the learning curve for starting their own denim line. After leaving R&R he launched his own “very short-lived” T-shirt company, Rufus Mahoney, before ditching the fashion game for some years. It wasn’t until the pair both moved back to St Louis that they started kicking around the idea of creating Loyal Collective. The duo dove deep into every aspect of creating the line, including learning to sew, creating patterns from scratch, finding manufacturing, and building the aesthetic of what the brand would become. “We set out to create a brand that would produce high quality wardrobe staples, made in America, that would never go out of style. Hopefully people like what we’re doing, and make Loyal Collective a part of their collection.”